A look at the heart of Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, the tremendous set of Seth Raynor designed greens For a golf course to be great, its different components—land, routing, strategy, hazards, greens—should ideally work together, and have independent strength of their own. Ask a large enough group of golf geeks which of theseContinue reading “BLUE’S GREENS”


An in-depth look at the evolution of the C.B. Macdonald-designed and Gil Hanse retrovated Sleepy Hollow Country Club “From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of Sleepy Hollow…A drowsy, dreamyContinue reading “EMBRACING MACDONALD’S LEGACY AT SLEEPY HOLLOW”


A look at how C.B. Macdonald unleashed his creativity across the rolling hills of St. Louis Country Club Charles Blair Macdonald was not lacking in self-assurance. He expressed his supreme confidence through action and proclamation. The action was to create a portfolio of golf courses, topped by National Golf Links of America, that would revolutionizeContinue reading “COASTAL BIASES – ST. LOUIS C.C.”


An in-depth profile of C.B. Macdonald’s National Golf Links of America and the design ideals it embodies. The National. Two words that, especially for devotees of classic architecture, hold so much meaning. These words are not just shorthand for the club named National Golf Links of America, they carry the weight of one man’s incrediblyContinue reading “TIMELESS IDEALS AT NATIONAL GOLF LINKS”


An in-depth look at Macdonald’s Leven template with Brett Hochstein and Jon Cavalier When it comes to golf course architecture, it doesn’t get much geekier than MacRaynor templates.  It should come s no surprise that I love the templates, and the one I love most of all is the Leven.  In an age when lengthContinue reading “MY FAVORITE TEMPLATE”

LinksGems Birthday Tribute to C.B. Macdonald

A BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO CHARLES BLAIR MACDONALD Happy 162nd birthday to the Godfather of American Golf, Charles Blair Macdonald. On November 14, 1855, Charles Blair Macdonald was born in Ontario.  After growing up in Chicago, he attended St. Andrews University, where he learned golf from Old Tom Morris.  In 1874, he returned to Chicago butContinue reading “LinksGems Birthday Tribute to C.B. Macdonald”

Sleepy Hollow Course Tour by Jon Cavalier

SLEEPY HOLLOW COUNTRY CLUB – A COURSE TOUR & APPRECIATION Scarborough-on-Hudson, NY – C.B. Macdonald, Seth Raynor, A.W. Tillinghast Full disclosure: I love this place.  Sleepy Hollow is, quite simply, one of my favorite places in the country to play golf.  Exceptional golden age architecture, spectacular views, exciting shots, fabulous conditions — Sleepy Hollow hasContinue reading “Sleepy Hollow Course Tour by Jon Cavalier”

Fishers Island Course Tour by Jon Cavalier

FISHERS ISLAND – A COURSE TOUR & APPRECIATION Fishers Island, NY – Seth Raynor Some golf courses are special.  We all know that feeling we get when we play one of these courses.  Our senses are heightened, our memories are sharpened, our spirits are lifted, and our love for the game of golf is strengthenedContinue reading “Fishers Island Course Tour by Jon Cavalier”

Shoreacres Tour by Jon Cavalier

SHOREACRES – A COURSE TOUR & APPRECIATION Lake Bluff, IL – Seth Raynor, 1916 If you’ve read my previous tours or follow me on Twitter or Instagram (shameless plug: @linksgems), you know that I am a fan of the designs of Charles Blair Macdonald and his protégé, Seth Raynor.  I’ve played several dozen “MacRaynor” designs,Continue reading “Shoreacres Tour by Jon Cavalier”

National Golf Links of America Tour by Jon Cavalier

NATIONAL GOLF LINKS OF AMERICA – A COURSE TOUR & APPRECIATION Southampton, NY – Charles Blair Macdonald “There are no more beautiful golfing vistas in all the world than those from the National Golf Club . . .” – C.B. Macdonald For me, this is sacred ground. As a devout member of the church ofContinue reading “National Golf Links of America Tour by Jon Cavalier”